Thinking of putting mobile solutions in your post office?
Before starting, identify what you want to achieve using mobile. Is it to attract more consumers? Sell more products? Migrate users away from labor-intensive counter transactions?
Define specific targets for each goal, then assess the effectiveness of the mobile deployment to determine whether it provides value for money.
Mobile Point of Service transactions reached $27 billion in 2016 in the US, an increase of over 200% from 2015, according to eMarketer.
By implementing a mobile system, your Post can achieve the following:
- Accept consumer payments anywhere
- Migrate tasks from the counter to mobile devices
- Engage more proactively with consumers in the lobby
- Offer mobile payments technology to mail carriers working in the field
- Connect every transaction to your CRM, inventory and marketing tools
Escher has deployed various mobile solutions to some of the world’s largest postal operators. The following guidelines provide expert advice to ensure your Mobile Point of Service deployments are a success.
Mobile Point of Service Strategies for Posts– Do’s
#1 Identify Consumer Needs
What are consumers telling you? What products do they want? What services do they need?
Analyze the feedback you’re getting from consumers to identify how best to apply mobile to improve their postal experience.
Design the mobile solution around their needs and priorities. This ensures your employees can offer the relevant range of products and services when interacting with consumers in the lobby or when delivering postal items to their door.
Mobile Point of Service solutions enable consumers to pay for an item as soon as they find it. By meeting customers where and when they find products, there is no waiting in line, resulting in more sales and greater consumer satisfaction.
When shoppers struggle to find a traditional POS terminal, that experience is negatively affected. Verifone report that 57% of "in-store satisfaction" is measured based on the transactional experience.
“Forget first impressions counting - it’s the last moments that determine whether a shopper visits a store again. 57% of in-store satisfaction is decided by the queuing and paying experience, which means the checkout really can make or break customer relationships.”
#2 Examine What other Posts Have Done
While assessing how best to implement mobile in your Post, it is advised to look at similar implementations by other Posts. This will allow you to see what is possible, including hardware used, transactions available, locations deployed and most significantly the results.
#3 Accept Flexible Payments
As a society, we’re moving away from cash.
“The death of cheques, an increase in credit and debit card use and digital innovations such as PayPal, Apple Pay and Bitcoin are all potentially paving the way to a cashless world.” World Economic Forum
Peer-to-peer payments, digital wallets, and contactless payments are rapidly gaining momentum, and will soon become mainstream.
More than 30% of Europeans and Americans said they would be willing to use electronic payments if they could – and at least 20% already doing so – according to an Ipsos survey for ING bank.
According to Business Insider Intelligence, mobile payments made 20.6% of eCommerce sales in 2016, or $79 billion, and are expected to rise to 45% of all eCommerce payments in 2020, or $284 billion.
The flexible payment capabilities of a mobile device helps consumers pay for items quickly either with their card, cash or digital wallet. Employees can process payments in the lobby (or remotely) instead of the traditional cash register using Mobile Point of Service solutions.
#4 Increase Consumer Loyalty
Want to keep your most valuable consumers?
In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s essential to understand consumer preferences, trends, and behavior in order to increase engagement.
In addition to its other capabilities, Mobile Point of Service solutions can track consumer activity. This allows you to reward your most loyal consumers, offer discounts, and other incentives to strengthen engagement.
At Escher, we develop mobile solutions that help you setup, implement, and optimize your loyalty programs. Using the data from mobile channels, you can gather insights on specific consumer behavior that help you with discounts, sales, and promotions.
#5 Protect Consumer Data
In a customer-centric economy, your greatest intangible asset is trust.
Consumers trust you to protect their data. As unauthorized users will target mobile devices to steal consumer data, Posts need to implement measures to protect consumer data.
To achieve this, we recommend that Posts follow PCI DSS compliance best practices, and ensure employees protect the device both in the post office and when working remotely.
Mobile Point of Service Strategies For Posts – Don’ts
Here are five rules to make your mobile deployments a success.
#1 Don’t Forget to Measure Consumer Satisfaction
How can you tell if mobile improves the consumer experience?
USPS and other Posts measure performance using the Retail Consumer Experience (RCE) program, in addition to surveys of residential and business consumers.
One key metric is the amount of time consumers spend waiting in line. The goal is “Five Minutes or Less.” In 2015, USPS reported that the national wait time in line average was 2 minutes, 36 seconds versus the prior year of 2 minutes, 24 seconds, an increase of 12 seconds.
The first rule is to measure the performance of each mobile deployment. For example, compare the time to complete a transaction at the counter versus a mobile device. Use the results to justify further investment in this technology.
Offering consumers a superior shopping experience, ensures that visits to the post office are more efficient, which leads to more sales and greater consumer satisfaction.
#2 Don’t Overlook Payment Security
The next rule is to build consumer trust.
To do this, highlight the security standards and measures you’ve adopted to secure each mobile transaction. Remind consumers that your mobile devices are compatible with point-to-point encryption. This ensures that payment information cannot be compromised when transactions are processed using the device.
Escher’s Mobile Point of Service solutions encrypt all transactions. No data is stored on the mobile device. This minimizes security breaches and helps to comply with regulations, such as PCI DSS.
#3 Don’t Ignore Marketing Opportunities
Every transaction you make using an mobile device can be used to improve your sales and marketing activities. Using mobile generated data, you can examine consumer preferences, regional trends, and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Posts can also use Mobile Point of Service channels to add consumers to their CRM database. For example, after purchasing an item, Posts can use this as an opportunity to ask for a consumer's email address and offer to provide a digital receipt by email or SMS.
Once the consumer's email address is entered into the system, the Post can encourage consumers to receive special offers, discounts, and other incentives electronically – something it could not do using tradition offline channels.
#4 Don’t Forget the Hardware
In addition to mobile devices, Posts need to consider the efficiency and reliability of terminals, receipt printers, card readers, scales and more.
Posts should also examine the compatibility and integration capabilities of the mobile device to different devices and peripherals.
As Escher’s mobile solutions are hardware agnostic, they can connect to any peripheral or device.
#5 Don’t Skip Employee Training
Training isn’t just important, it’s vital.
Despite the initial cost required to setup training, the investment pays off dividends.
By allocate sufficient resources to train employees, they’ll be comfortable when dealing with consumers and have the confidence to perform tasks quickly on the device, especially during busy periods.
By implementing Mobile Point of Service, Posts can improve the consumer experience by reducing lines and completing transactions faster.
As a total solutions provider to the postal industry, Escher helps Posts implement Mobile Point of Service solutions that engage consumers more effectively, drive more sales and provide a memorable shopping experience.